Feb 01 2013

“The request of every PC whiner”

I was just rereading this post from a month ago, which quoted Michael Nugent’s response to Thunderf00t’s plea command to organizers of secular conferences to shun feminists:

Thunderf00t concludes with a call to conference organisers and leaders of secular groups:

“Seriously, those who organise conferences, get a grip. You do not have to appease the request of every PC whiner. The secular community can achieve great things, but it will never achieve anything while it has poison like this being dripped into its heart. Please forward this video to leaders of secular groups who you think need to hear this message.”

Thunderf00t, I’ll give you a straight answer. As an organiser of conferences and as chairperson of Atheist Ireland, I will oppose any attempts to ostracize the people you name, and I will also oppose any attempts to ostracize people like you who disagree with them.


I don’t think I knew it when I wrote that post, but Nugent had already gone public with Atheist Ireland’s plans on the matter of making Atheist Ireland inclusive (or as Tf00t put it “appeasing the request of every PC whiner”). He did a post after their annual General Meeting to lay out their plans for next (now this) year.

Check out item 6.

6. Women in Secularism Conference

  • Organize an international Women in Secularism conference in Dublin
  • Invite speakers from Ireland, elsewhere in Europe, and other Continents
  • The theme of the conference is Empowering Women Through Secularism
  • Start promoting theme on UNESCO Philosophy Day November15
  • Support the CFI Women in Secularism Conference in Washington

Oh. They’re going to have their own, international Women in Secularism conference in Dublin, as well as supporting the one in DC.

That’s fantastic.



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  1. 1
    Brian Engler

    Excellent! I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland.

  2. 2
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Clearly, T-Footie and the slymers are winning the battle!

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    Same here, Brian! Well, re-visit, but the first one was 150 years ago.

  4. 4
    Bruce Everett

    If I could afford it, I’d travel to Ireland just to give Michael Nugent a hug (his consent required, obviously).

  5. 5

    Oh, I hope one of the topics is abortion law and Savita. That alone would be worth the trip.

  6. 6

    That is great news. I hope to see more conferences follow suit. That is a great way to see change in the skeptical and atheist circles.

    But hell, this just told me that I need to sleep. I spent five minutes trying to figure out what Ted Nugent had to do with Ireland or T-foot.

  7. 7
    daniel imms

    Are they planning to have a ‘Men in Secularism’ conference too? After all, It’s mostly men that get drawn into the running of religions and becoming priests, rabbis and imams. Might be a good idea to talk about that.

  8. 8
    A Hermit

    Michael Nugent is becoming one of my favourite people in the atheist movement; he brings the same calm, yet devastatingly rational approach to every issue I’ve seen him take on; whether it’s the Catholic Church’s political influence in Ireland or the “deep rifts”. This is what a progressive secular leader looks like.

  9. 9

    That’s wonderful! Dare I dream of a whole series of Women In Secularism conferences, scattered all across the globe?

    Long-term goals. :)

  10. 10
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes! Everyone else is going to be green with envy and rush to catch up.

  11. 11

    Teensy little quibble with Michael, although in general of course I think his heart is in the right place:

    I’m not wild about the false equivalence regarding ostracizing outspoken women and ostracizing Thunderf00t. Ostracizing someone just for being a woman, or for speaking up about mistreatment she has received is NOT morally equivalent to ostracizing someone for ostracizing someone else just for being a woman or for speaking up about the mistreatment she has received. If you can’t ostracize someone who insists on trying to ostracize someone else (when, of course, that someone else is not doing anything cruel/bigoted/harmful), you’ve basically become a community that tolerates people who try to single out innocent people out and ostracize them. That’s not okay.

    Michael is word-for-word committing Geek Social Fallacy #1. Ostracizing is NOT in fact evil if the person being ostracized is actively harmful.

    Also, can I just FUCKING GAG at the “disagree with them” like this is a completely academic disagreement with no moral content?! Seriously, Michael? If I say, “I deserve to be treated with basic human decency and not be harassed” anyone who disagrees with that is–by definition!–a moral monster who deserves to be ostracized, because a community cannot thrive if some members refuse to treat others with basic human decency and declare their entitlement to harass others.

    So, Michael, please drop the neutrality. As Secular Woman recently posted:

    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
    –Desmond Tutu

    Otherwise I think he means well, but this compulsive neutrality is seriously getting in the way.

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